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Six Principles of Innovation Independence


Presents Six Principles to Guide Intellectual Property Debate

Arlington, Virginia — 3/16/2005. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) issued today a Declaration of Innovation Independence. The document provides a series of principles to ensure that fair use, home recording rights and innovation are protected in legislative, judicial and regulatory debates regarding the protection of intellectual property (IP)). CEA unveiled the Declaration during its new conference entitled “IP & Creativity: Redefining the Issue,” held today in Washington, D.C.

“For too long, the content community has been allowed to define the terms of the IP debate. Today we reassert our independence,” said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. “We reassert our independence from the content community’s stranglehold on determining the language of the debate. We reassert our independence to counter their efforts to inhibit the democratization of creativity enabled by digital technology. And we reassert our independence to ensure that legal activities conducted by consumers remain legal and are not inaccurately labeled as ‘piracy.’ The principles we present today are designed to protect the critical American values of innovation and creativity while preserving basic consumer rights.”

The Declaration of Innovation Independence calls on allied groups and policymakers to sign on and work toward the goal outlined within the document.

The six main goals include:

  1. Recognize that our founders instituted Copyright law to promise creativity, innovation and culture, and this goal can only be met if new technologies are not stifled and fair use rights are upheld.
  2. Reaffirm the Betamax holding that a product is legal if it is capable of substantial non-infringing uses.
  3. Resist pleas to create new laws, causes of action, liabilities, and avenues to obstruct new product introductions and technological innovation.
  4. Reestablish the fundamental rights of consumer to time-shirt, place-shift and make full use of lawfully acquired content; and use that content on a platform of their choice.
  5. Reexamine the length of the copyright term and explore avenues for content to be reliably and readily available for creative works, scholarship, educations, history, documentation and innovation benefiting overall society and generated from creative minds throughout the general public.
  6. Realize that our nation’s creativity arises from a remarkable citizenry whose individuality, passion, belief in the American dream, and desire to improve should not be shackled by laws that restrict creativity.

“We recognize that digital technology presents a threat to the content industry. I am sympathetic. History is replete with technology disrupting existing businesses,” noted Shapiro. “But this change is called progress. I am unsympathetic if they insist on handcuffing new technologies with efforts to poison and undermine the critical Betamax holdings.”

Joining CEA in supporting these principles are, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the American Conservative Union (ACU), the Home Recording Rights Coalition (HRRC) and the American Library Association (ALA).

For a full copy of the Declaration of Innovation Independence, visit

About CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the consumer technology industry through technology policy, events, research, promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA represents more than 2,000 corporate members involved in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and integration of audio, video, mobile electronics, wireless and landline communications, information technology, home networking, multimedia and accessory products, as well as related services that are sold through consumer channels. Combined, CEA’s members account for more than $121 billion in annual sales. CEA’s resources are available online at, the definitive source for information about the consumer electronics industry.

CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES – Defining Tomorrow’s Technology. All profits from CES are reinvested into industry services, including technical training and education, industry promotion, engineering standards development, market research and legislative advocacy.

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